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May, 2011

The Important of Appearance

Monday, May 30th, 2011 by Mike

I was reading this paper on how attractive websites do better with users than usable websites:

Visual Appeal vs. Usability

Well, that article refers to an extreme example, but this is something that has been difficult for me to comes to terms with, geek that I am, but it is really hard to overestimate the value of appearance when an average person makes a decision about something.

From presidents to cars to websites and … yes… to high end audio gear.

I would say the list of important criteria looks something like:

price - what is this going to cost me relative to the other choices?
convenience - how much work must I do for one choice versus another?
appearance - how attractive is one versus the others

competency - how well does one perform relative to the others.


With this list I think one can explain why MS Windows beat out Apple, why the ipod and iphone beat out their competitors, why Facebook beat out WAY better designed competitors… and why some products in our industry actually sell a few units, no matter how competent they are vis-a-vis their competition - and why some others don’t do as well.

I don’t really have any specific products in mind. We can all think of wonderful looking amps and racks and speakers that seem to be doing OK in this over-crowded marketplace - and perhaps their very attractiveness is the reason why.

I do think it is something ALL manufacturers here should pay attention to - though I feel few actually do. They feel as I do, of course, that competent products should rise to the top.

Munich 2011

Saturday, May 21st, 2011 by Mike

The Marten Coltrane 2 loudspeakers

The Marten boys and Jorma (of Jorma Design cables) on the right

A lot of really good photos and some commentary (use your browser’s translator to read it, unless you can read Chinese) about what is happening at the Munich show (posted and photographed by Lobular [Leo Yeh]):

My Hiend: Munich High-end Audio Show Day 1

My Hiend: Munich High-end Audio Show Day 2


Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 by Mike

A whole site dedicated to used vinyl and the prices they went for on ebay.



Thanks Fred!

Tin Pan Alley

Thursday, May 12th, 2011 by Mike

We were listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Tin Pan Alley (plugging the Audio Note M9 directly into the wall is significantly better than through our [usually only somewhat problematic $60, sounds better than most $2K+ … OK, $5K+ …power conditioners], power-strip) and wondered just where Tin Pan Alley was.

I thought it was next to Hells Kitchen in Manhattan. Neli thought it was a euphemism for skid row.

But we was wrong.

From Wikipedia Tin Pan Alley:

“Tin Pan Alley is the name given to the collection of New York City-centered music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The term is also used to describe any area within a major city with a high concentration of music publishers or musical instrument stores - a good example being Denmark Street[1][2] in London’s West End. In the 1920s the street became known as “Britain’s Tin Pan Alley” because of the large number of music shops, a title it still holds: the Tin Pan Alley Festival is held there each July.”

So now we have to listen to the lyrics all over again… and try and figure out what they REALLY mean. :-) Oh man. The pain. The PAIN.

CES 2011 Attendance

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 by Mike

[Guess it was a successful CES. Impressive. Though numbers at the CES part of high-end audio, I would say, were lower and at THE SHOW part of of high-end audio… higher.]

“The International CES® today announced that 31,677 industry professionals from outside the U.S. attended the 2011 International CES January 6-9, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Up 30 percent from last year, international attendance at the 2011 CES set a new record for the show’s 45 year history. An independent audit, performed by Veris Consulting LLC, confirms CES’ status as the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow and North America’s largest annual tradeshow of any kind. Overall, the 2011 International CES welcomed 149,529 technology attendees during its four day run.”

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Audio Federation

email: mike&neli@audiofederation.com
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